Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Jaret, Samantha, Maddox and Gavin Jones of Columbia Beach. (Submitted photo)
The first anonymous letter that came to the Jones’ door. (Submitted photo)
Sam, Maddox, Gavin and Jaret Jones. (Submitted photo)
Gavin and Maddox playing. (Submitted photo)
Maddox and Gavin. (Submitted photo)

Jaret Jones says his children, like most others, enjoy playing outside and sometimes even make a little noise.

So Jones, who has lived in the Columbia Beach area near Parksville for approximately a year, says he was quite surprised to recently receive letters calling that noise “unbearable.”

“You have no doubt, realized that you moved into a neighbourhood of retired people. Do you hear any noise from anyone else? I didn’t think so,” read part of the first letter.

RELATED: Langford has ‘no plans’ to make changes to Western Speedway after noise complaints

In the last month, Jones has looked through his mail and found two postmarked, anonymous letters. Both titled, “Re: Your Noisy Children,” they outline how the noise Jones’s children make while playing in the backyard is making it impossible for the authors to enjoy their own outdoor space.

Jones has two children, aged seven and 10, who have been playing in the backyard a lot during COVID-19 quaratine restrictions. The two boys jump on the trampoline, swim in the pool and hang out in the yard.

“I’ve had bad neighbours before; these people don’t know what bad neighbours and noisy neighbours are if they’re complaining about kids playing,” he said. “We’re not drinking until 3 a.m. and smashing stuff.”

He’s not sure who sent the letter, and went and talked to his neighbours, who said they also had experience with similar complaints.

“In that neighbourhood, it echoes, I have to say that,” he said. “I talked with our immediate neighbours, and they have all encountered either having bylaws called on them for dogs or anything – there’s a lot of neighbourhood watchdogs that have nothing else to do.”

The City of Parksville said they haven’t received any formal noise bylaw complaints related to children recently. However, there is someone in an over-55 complex who calls routinely about the sound of children playing, according to the bylaws department.

When asked if he thinks his children are especially loud, Jones said not more than other youngsters who also play in the neighbourhood.

“It could be other kids in the neighbourhood as well, there’s other people that have kids or families visiting,” he said. “They used us as a scapegoat, I guess.”

READ MORE: Parksville man says summer concerts are too loud

Jones said his children, 10-year-old Maddox and 7-year-old Gavin, were annoyed to hear about the letters.

“My seven-year-old wrote post-it notes that he wants to send back to them that says they’re being bossy,” he said.

Jones said nothing like this has ever happened to his family – that the letter caught them completely off guard. At first, he said he was upset that they were targeted since there are numerous families with children in the neighbourhood. Ultimately, he said he realized it was part of what he sees as a larger problem in the area.

“It does kind of highlight an issue in the community here, with the mixture of young and old not always gelling,” he said. “The neighbourhoods go through kind of a cycle… our kids are gonna grow up and leave and we’re going to be the old people sitting on the porch getting angry at kids, I don’t know.”

In terms of if he thinks he and wife Samantha will be sending letters a couple of decades down the line, he said, “I hope not,” with a laugh.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronavirusParksville

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read